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Firefighter set good example for others

Jacob Tierney
| Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

When John Rosatti heard the familiar clamor of a fire alarm, he and his five sons would get up and go.

“You'd swear to God it was like a fire station — there were six sets of gear,” said his son, Steven Rosatti. “When the fire alarm went off, everyone else would just lean back against the wall and the six of us would dart for the door.”

John Rosatti was a longtime member and president of the Forbes Road Volunteer Fire Department, and his sons say they were proud to follow in his footsteps.

“It kept my family on the straight and narrow,” said Bob Rosatti, current fire chief at Forbes Road.

John A. Rosatti, 82, of Forbes Road died Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital.

He was born Dec. 1, 1935, in Salem Township, a son of the late Carmen Rosatti and Rose Marnell Rosatti Gazze.

Mr. Rosatti was retired from Robertshaw and also worked for Dominion Gas. He was a Marine veteran and a member of St. Bartholomew Church, where he served as an usher and Eucharist minister.

He helped found the Mutual Aid ambulance service.

Bob Rosatti said his father's devout faith drove him to help others.

“I didn't only lose a father. I lost my mentor, my best friend. Everywhere I went, he was there, whether I was going to the fire station, or I was going hunting. If I was going to a Pirates game, he was going to the Pirates game,” he said.

John Rosatti was a mentor to young firefighters, and his familiar white beard made him an easily recognizable figure at the department.

“He was the oldest guy there; he looked like Santa Claus,” Steven Rosatti said. “He always cared about the younger generation.”

John Rosatti was an avid hunter, fisher and trapper, who often took his family into the woods with him.

“He never wanted to get the deer; he always wanted his kids to get the deer before he shot,” Steven Rosatti said.

He was preceded in death by his son, David A. Rosatti.

Mr. Rosatti is survived by his wife, Sandra Guala Rosatti; children, Marcia Weaver and husband, Randy, of Jeannette; John Rosatti Jr. and wife, Marie Bartoletti, of Somerset; Tom Rosatti and wife, Tina; Bob Rosatti and wife, Amy Fontana; and Steven Rosatti and wife, Katie, all of Forbes Road; daughter-in-law Arlene Fontana Rosatti of Forbes Road; five grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home, 409 W. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Bartholomew Church, with interment to follow in St. Clair Cemetery, Hempfield.

Memorial donations may be made to Forbes Road Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 214, Forbes Road, PA 15633.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, jtierney@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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